Global temperatures in March were second hottest on record

Global temperatures in March were second hottest on record
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Temperatures in March were the second hottest on record around the globe, according to new U.S. government data.

Record-breaking highs in places like Alaska and Australia pushed last month near the top of the record books. The hottest March on record was in 2016, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data released Thursday.

Regions that experienced the hottest temperature variances last month were Australia, southwestern and central Asia, Alaska and northwestern Canada. Alaska and Australia had their warmest March temperatures since record-keeping began in 1925 and 1910, respectively.

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The spring month also did not bode well for the polar ice caps. The amount of sea ice in the Arctic was 5.7 percent below its 1981–2010 average. Antarctic sea ice was down 21.6 percent from the same average — the second smallest amount in March, after 2017.

Overall, the first quarter of 2019 was the third warmest on record for the globe, NOAA scientists said. And last month kept adding to the trend of increasing temperatures: March was the 411 consecutive month with global temperatures above average, according to NOAA.

The data add to an alarming trend of warming across the globe. NASA scientists announced that 2018 was the fourth warmest year on record, and another study from a group of international scientists released in January found that 2018 was the hottest year on record for ocean temperatures.